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Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole on a white dinner plate with asparagus

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole

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This Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole is a touch spicy, with a Creole kick, and totally irresistible with layers of cheddar grits and sauteed shrimp!

This Midwest born and raised gal was late to Southern shrimp and grits, but a new fan was born after a book club friend served her casserole version at our summer gathering.

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole in a white, rectangular casserole dish

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole 

Shrimp and Grits originated on the southern coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, and is traditionally a breakfast food. I don’t know about you, but shrimp isn’t something I crave first thing in the morning, so making it into a dinner casserole was more my style! But feel free to eat this delicious shrimp and grits recipe any time of day.

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole on a white dinner plate with asparagus

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

Start by purchasing your grits. Grits and polenta are similar, both made from ground corn. Grits are finer, though, and made from white corn, where polenta is coarser and created from yellow corn. Polenta is a staple of Italian cuisine, and grits are notably Southern.

Quick grits, like quick oats, are more processed and cook up faster than traditional grits. My friend, LJ, used quick grits in her recipe and this northerner thought they tasted just fine. I only found regular grits and used them with her directions and the result was more like polenta, but still delicious!

  • Make your grits first. They take the most time of the two components of this casserole and can actually be cooked ahead of time, then chilled until you’re ready to saute the shrimp.
  • I have made these with traditional grits as well as “grits” packaged as polenta/grits. The texture was of the latter was more like polenta, but it worked in a pinch!
  • Cook your grits in a double boiler, which is a set of pans where one inserts into the top of the other. The lower pan has simmering water, which provides a gentler heat than the burner.
  • PRO-Tip: If you don’t own a double boiler, use a makeshift version with a saucepan and heat resistant bowl to nestle on top of the pan. Since the bowl isn’t well secured, you may need to hold it with a hot pad while stirring.
  • Cook your grits until they’re thick, though if you like thinner grits, add some extra liquid. Just taste to make sure they’re soft and tender.

Close view of Cheesy Shrimp and Grits in a casserole dish

What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits

With a full flavored, spicy entree, you’ll want simple sides like roasted vegetables or a green salad. I love this Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter. The bit of vinegar helps cut the richness of the shrimp and grits as does the lemon in this Lemon Garlic Broccoli. For a refreshing salad, I recommend this Citrus Spinach Salad and this Honey Lime Fruit Salad would be fabulous accompaniment for breakfast or dinner!

More Terrific Dinner Casseroles

Add to Your Shopping List:

  • 1 quart of milk
  • Quick or regular grits
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Creole seasoning
  • Green onions
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Lemon for zest
  • Sriracha
  • Kitchen staples: Butter, Olive Oil, Kosher salt, black pepper
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Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole on a white dinner plate with asparagus

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole

A delicious, Southern shrimp and grits recipe!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood, Entree, Breakfast
  • Method: Boiling, Sauteing, Baking
  • Cuisine: Southern, American

Ingredients

Cheesy grits:

1/2 cup butter

1 quart of milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup of Quick Grits (sold in the cereal section- in a round box like Quaker Oats) or tradition grits

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Shrimp topping:

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 large red pepper, large diced

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Using a double boiler, melt a stick of butter, then add a quart of milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of quick grits.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is very thick, about 20 minutes.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.  Take the grits off the heat and beat on high with a mixer for 5 minutes.

After whipping the grits, place them in a greased 8 x 11-inch casserole. At this point, the grits can be parked in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook the shrimp.

Bake the grits at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes while you cook the shrimp.

Sprinkle the creole seasoning over the shrimp and let it sit for a few minutes. Saute the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the onions, cilantro, red pepper, lemon zest, Sriracha, salt and pepper and stir for another 2 minutes. Then take off of the stove.

When the grits are done baking, top with the shrimp mixture and serve.

Notes

Adapted from my friend LJ’s grandma’s recipe.

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21 comments on “Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole”

  1. Gosh, I love prawns & this dish looks so yummy! xoxo

  2. This casserole looks so inviting with the combo of flavours!

  3. Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite southern comfort foods, I have never seen it in casserole form. This is total genius!!!

  4. I love grits but I hardly ever make them. Now, with your recipe, I’ll be making them all the time.

  5. I love the combination of the creamy cheesy grits with shrimps…so good!
    I hope you are having a wonderful week Liz!

  6. Hi Liz! Hope you’ll make time to stop over at Carole’s chatter. This recipe would fit well with the new Food on Friday. Cheers

  7. Let me dig into this hearty dish!! So nice to meet you in person, Liz. Hope to see you at another conference sometime!!

  8. I can’t believe I will say a grits dish looks good, but I want some. I have had sad grist tastings on trips and never cooked with it myself. Maybe this will be a game changer?

  9. On my way for a Shrimp plate! 🙂

    • I’ve never tried grits even though I’m a huge fan of polenta. I’ll need to fix it. Polenta is associated with the spring and summer time of the year to me, so it’s a great time to give it a try now! Look delicious.

  10. Since moving South, I have finally tasted what great grits taste like and your recipe is spot on, Liz! Too bad I’m allergic to shrimp, so can I substitute chicken? Happy Mother’s Day my friend!!!
    xoxo

  11. What a fun idea to make shrimp and grits into a casserole! So much easier too!

  12. I think you have a really good book club! It doesn’t matter what you read! Love this recipe! I do a traditional method, but this sounds great!

  13. Fabulous. I don’t usually love the idea of casseroles or bakes, unless they’re pretty, but I really love this one because it’s brilliant! I often make grits with various proteins, and why not put them together?!!! thanks

  14. I never cooked grits, I have to try it. Your casserole looks appetizing. 

  15. Never made grits in a casserole form before but love this time saving idea. Super delicious week night meal.

  16. Hi there! While wandering through your web site, your Cheesy Shrimp & Grits Casserole caught my eye. I hustled on over to our local grocery stores, just a couple blocks away, for the shrimp, some fresh asparagus. We had fresh cilantro in our herb garden down behind our condo. I hadn’t ever tried the grits in the form you mentioned, but they were great. I served the shrimp dish with the fresh roasted asparagus and a fresh fruit salad with my home made poppy seed dressing I always have on hand. Everything was YUMMY and a big hit!! Thanks for sharing your recipes. I’ll be back to try some of your other goodies.

    Aloha … Nancy On Maui

  17. Beautiful dish Liz! My husband loves grits and for whatever reason, I cannot get them right. I know he’d love this dish so I will share the recipe with him.

  18. what a wonderful recipe :)! that looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe for a party:) My friends and family are going to love it. thank you for sharing with us! I hope you will have a great day!

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